Chargers vs. 49ers NFL Picks: Betting Trends Point to Low-Scoring Game Between Weakened Offenses

Jason Lake

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 11:17 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2015 11:17 PM UTC

The San Diego Chargers have been a perfect NFL pick after three exhibition games. The San Francisco 49ers? Not so much. They'll meet in Thursday's preseason finale.

It looks like the San Diego Chargers will exist for at least one more year. The NFL is reportedly thinking about pumping the brakes on any relocation plans to Los Angeles, which only makes sense, given how much public money has been committed over the years to new stadiums for teams who threaten to leave for L.A. Meanwhile, the Chargers themselves are starting to generate some hope for 2015 after going 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS during the first three exhibition games.

There's a very good chance San Diego makes it 4-0 ATS this Thursday night (10:00 p.m. ET, NFLN). The San Francisco 49ers will welcome the Chargers to the Field of Jeans, resuming their on-again, off-again Week 4 exhibition series after playing in Week 3 last year. The Niners are 1-2 SU and ATS this year, and quite frankly, they're a mess. But the NFL odds at press time have San Francisco laying three points.


Yo Gabbert Gabbert
We'd be auto-betting the Niners if Jim Harbaugh were still in town. That team swept all four of its preseason games SU and ATS against San Diego, including three Week 4 games, and the score wasn't even close the last three years. Unless you've been living in a reservoir under some shade balls, you know that Harbaugh is with the Michigan Wolverines now. Jim Tomsula is the new head coach in San Francisco, and the Niners have shed a ton of quality players since Harbaugh got the boot.

One player they have stuck with is QB Colin Kaepernick, who's had a rough preseason playing behind a patchwork offensive line. Kaepernick and the rest of the San Fran starters aren't expected to play Thursday night, but that O-line is still going to be a problem for Blaine Gabbert and/or Dylan Thompson. However, keep an eye on the news wires to see if Gabbert's going to play, because he's had an excellent preseason otherwise.


The Bells of St. Clemens
The game plan on San Diego's side, not surprisingly, is to sit the starters and allow the fringe players to compete for one of the last spots on the 53-man roster. Kellen Clemens has done well as the No. 2 QB, but third-stringer Brad Sorensen has thrown two picks without any touchdowns. Again, we're waiting for news about how much Clemens will play, if at all, but if last year's Week 4 matchup is any indication, it'll be mostly Clemens.

That's almost enough to make us put the Chargers in our NFL picks, but there are a few too many unknowns for comfort. So we're recommending the UNDER, which is 3-0 for San Fran this year and 2-1 for San Diego. We're expecting another low-scoring game between two weakened offenses, and with Niners RB candidate Jarryd Hayne getting multiple opportunities to run the ball Thursday night. Run, Jarryd, run.

Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 37 (–106) at Pinnacle

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